If you're not familiar with Canadian prog outfit Mystery, here's a quick bio. Formed in 1986 by Michel St-Pere as studio project, the band has released five albums of melodic AOR progressive rock since 1992. Incidentally, Mr. St-Pere is also the man behind Mystery's label, Unicorn Digital.
After one spin of One Among the Living several words came to mind: soothing, breathtaking, and inspired. But I might be getting ahead of myself here. Possibly the most significant element of Mystery's latest is the premier of Benoit David on lead vocals. He's currently the replacement for the ailing Jon Anderson of Yes, and will be participating in his their new recording. Meanwhile, he's adding his impressive vocal style to the Mystery, and it is quite impressive. David's vocals partially account for the 'soothing' description of One Among the Living. Yet, more appropriate might be 'mesmerizing' as his voice alights upon each song with ethereal beauty. And, yes, you will hear that distinctive Anderson/YES sound in his voice. Better David Pack intersecting with Mr. Anderson.
While Benoit David's voice seems to take certain stage, the music within One Among the Living is equally impressive. Mystery has always been known for it's majestic arrangements and cogent lyrical content, and this remains. Yet, while surely delving into prog's past, Mystery hardly dwells there. Better to call One Among the Living neo-progressive rock, for it is quite forward looking, offering some more heavier moments found in much of modern prog. Still, the essence of Mystery has always been a foundation of melodic album-oriented-rock made complex by the progressive elements, and One Among the Living stands in this tradition.
Now, for the pure beauty and majesty of Mystery's style, the listener should look to Between Love and Hate and Till the Truth Comes Out where Mr. St-Pere's ambitious arrangements involve all musicians and elevate the listener's experience with moments both sublime and auspicious. Yet, the tour-de-force here, and what makes Mystery a seminal force in contemporary prog, is the brilliant six-part Through Different Eyes. This a perfect example of what makes progressive rock great: an aural picture of intrigue, inspiration, and melody built upon a complex, but accessible, arrangements.
On the whole, however, Mystery's One Among the Living is a singular and consummate work which is thoroughly inspired and entertaining. If prog's your thing, then you must definitely delve into this delightful work. You will not be disappointed in the least. Strongly recommended!
Mystery's One Among the Living is a singular and consummate work which is thoroughly inspired and entertaining. If prog's your thing, then you must definitely delve into this delightful work.